Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shitake and oyster mushroom medley stir fry

Mushroom medley stir-fry
Ingredients: Mushrooms, garlic, vegetarian oyster sauce
Directions: Heat some oil and saute minced garlic till fragrant. Add in mushrooms, and fry till soften. Add in some vegetarian oyster sauce, mix well and dish up to serve.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chicken curry, curry chicken

The main basic ingredients in this dish are chicken, curry, and in my opinion, coconut milk (what is chicken curry without the coconut milk, the lemak - Lemak is a culinary description in the Malay language which specifically refers to the presence of coconut milk which adds a distinctive richness to a dish.).

Spices generally depends on the cooking style -
-masala powder, saffron, ginger and so on (depending on cookery style)
-kunjit (yellow ginger)
-galangal (blue ginger)
-star anise

When onions are added, it tends to make the chicken curry sweeter. Of course, I still usually like my Singapore or Malaysia chicken curry with potatoes.

Chicken curry/curry chicken
Coconut Milk, Coriander, Onion, Sugar, Salt, Chili, Cumin, Fennel, Garlic, Turmeric, Cinnamon, and Star Anise

It's usually eaten with rice or roti (bread).

In Singapore, some of us like to search for the baguette when it comes to chicken curry. However, I found that brioche is so much a better choice, It's not that tough and chewy as baguette and have an eggy taste which adds another layer of of taste and dmianeional when paired with chicken curry.

(1) You can always eat them from the start, dipping with bread

(2) Or when you find that rice ran out and you only have bread, this the perfect time to let this instant sponge showcase

(3) A good brioche has the porosity like sponge, and soft just like sponge

(4) The plate is cleaned :p


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Monday, October 22, 2007

Stir-fry Shredded Duck

Look at the crispy delicious duck skin, oh-so-sinful...but oh-so-nice

The leftover of half a roasted duck went to a stir fry.

Stir-fry Shredded Duck/Rainbow Duck
- Leftover duck shredded
- handful of beansprouts,
- 1 red pepper
- some Yu chai (Yu Choy vegetable)

1. Start with pan on low heat. No need oil since the leftover duck contains some fats and oil.
2. Add in duck, and when the "oil" starts to ooze out on the pan, add the other vegetables.
3. Stir fry them at medium heat till vegetables just turn tender
4. Garnish with thin shreds of egg

So many facets of duck. For this stir fry, it is colorful and I decided to name it Rainbow Duckie!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Steamed tofu balls

Steamed Tofu Balls
-orange or red peppers, julienned
-some enoki, buna shimeiji mushrooms
- soft/silken bean curd(1 small std size block or 1/2 big block) (Note: I recommend changing and using medium or firm tofu as I find that silken tofu gives too much moisture after mashing, "lose ALL its structure and integrity" and makes it hard to shape)
-1/2lb minced chicken
-1 egg white

Seasoning A
-1/2 tsp ginger juice
-some corn flour

Seasoning B
-1/2 tsp ginger juice
-1tbsp chinese cooking wine
-1tbsp corn flour

1. Mash/puree bean curd tofu
2. Combine chicken and tofu in a bowl. Add egg white and Seasoning A. Mix well
3. Shape bean curd mixture into balls, and place on plate. Top with peppers and mushrooms , steam over high heat till cooked.
4. In saucepan, add Seasoning B and bring to boil. Pour over tofu balls. Serve immediately.

These steamed tofu balls are different from the Pipa Tofu I've tried to make much earlier, though the "mashing/pureeing and shaping" are similar. The Pipa Tofu that were deep-fried a little, then braised, were heavier on taste; compared to these steamed ones which are lighter in taste yet still delicious. The latter were also a lot easier to make since no deep-frying steps were involved. The steamed tofu balls are indeed another delight for me!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tamarind prawns, non-spicy

Check out the recipe here

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Steamed clams, prawns and shrimps medley

Steamed clams and prawns, with egg white
A rough assembly of fresh manila clams, heads-on prawns, green onions, ginger ==> steamed for 8-9 minutes (Note: making sure not to overcook them but importantly don't under-cook them!); and adding whisked of egg white + dash of rice wine/cooking wine at the last one minute, then continue steaming till the 9th-1oth minute...DONE! Yes. It is that easy and highly recommended when you have fresh seafood.
(This recipe is similar to how I steam prawns here. Check that out as well, if you are interested.)

Just taste the natural juices and unspoilt flavors of fresh seafood.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Savory egg custard

Savory egg custard (for 1 serving)
1 egg (Note: I chose to use quality organic cage-free egg since the ingredients used are few and basic)
1/8 cup chicken stock (not more than half of the quantity of beaten egg mixture)
bunashimeiji mushrooms, a countable few

1. Whisk egg well, and sieve to remove any remaining egg white strands
2. Add chicken stock to the beaten egg mixture. Stir to combine and DO NOT whisk again
3. Add mushroom to custard mixture
4. Steam over simmering fire or heat (DO NOT boil) till custard sets
5. Serve with a dash of sesame oil on top

Ingredients and directions may sound easy but there are really a few critical steps(1. , 2 and 4.) you need to take note of in order not to overcook the steamed custard. And you get smooth and silky savory egg custard.

Light and satisfying!

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Chicken rice

Chicken Rice
First, the rice:

Made from the same stock used to poach/cook the chicken(below), ginger and scallions were also added to the same stock while poaching the chicken. When cooking the rice with chicken stock, finely minced garlic was added as well. You will get aromatic chicken rice!

Then, comes the chicken:

I would say this is the most patience-testing part in making chicken rice. Refer back here.This method works perfect! Succulent moist juicy chicken. Basically, you should never allow the chicken to come to a boil - Bring a pot of water with ginger and scallions to boil. Then completely immerse the chicken into the pot, turn off heat immediately, cover the pot and leave to stand for about 1 hour(with an interim step at approx. the 30th minute). Since I used chicken drumsticks, I did not have the "cavity" problem as opposed to handling whole chicken. After about 30 minutes, the "water" or rather chicken stock, with the immersed chicken should be re-heated to almost boiling point, then again turn off the heat and left standing for the remaining 30 minutes of that 1 hour.

Of course, some say the MOST AUTHENTIC Hainanese Chicken Rice has to use 文昌鸡 (Wen Chang chicken) - from Wenchang City, Hainan Island. Wenchang is the source from where most overseas Hainanese migrated. Majority of Singapore's Hainanese population has ancestral roots in Wenchang. Maybe that's what made Hainanese chicken rice such a popular and national dish in Singapore.

Not forgetting the chili sauce:

The chicken rice chilli sauce is typically concocted from fresh chilli, garlic, ginger, vinegar, sugar and salt. Sometimes, the Hainanese has grated ginger as an additional condiment as well.

To add variety, color and some refreshing vegetables for my home-style chicken rice:

Broccolini was blanched and drizzled with some oyster sauce, and not forgetting tomatoes!

Though I have completely emptied everything on the plate into my stomach while I am writing this, I felt hungry again after looking at it :O

Don't you think chicken rice is not as unhealthy as it seems?
A wholesome, colorful, tasty meal of delicious aromatic chicken rice with that succulent tender chicken, just a spoonful away :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kaya toast - coconut jam and butter sandwich

Kaya is a jam flavored by pandan leaf and sweetened with sugar, made from coconut milk and chicken eggs. The spread originated in Southeast Asia, most likely Indonesia or Malaysia.

Kaya is sweet and creamy, available as a golden brown or green colored spread depending on the amount of pandan and extent of caramelization of the sugar. As with other jams, kaya is typically spread on toast and eaten in the morning or for tea breaks. This toast, also known as kaya toast where essentially kaya and usually butter are spread on two pieces of preferably toasted bread, has gradually made its way as a popular snack in Singapore and some parts of Malaysia.

There is just everything, only missing that coffee, not just any Starbucks-type coffee but those aromatic corn-roasted coffee!

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Broccolini with Streaky Oyster Sauce and Golden Shallots

Broccolini with Streaky Oyster Sauce and Golden Shallots
Ingredients: Broccolini, oyster sauce, shallots sliced thinly
Directions: Slice shallots thinly and fry till golden brown, resulting in tiny crispy shallots, picture below (Note: do not over-fry them as when "burnt", they are as bitter-tasting as "burnt" garlic). Blanch broccolini in boiling water, or steam them till tender, then drizzle with oyster sauce and sprinkle with fried shallots.

Of course, I wish to tell you more about shallots and how they are used as part of recipe, condiment, and garnish in Asian cuisine. Fried shallots also enhance the flavor of many Indonesian dishes such as opor ayam (chicken curry) and Indonesian-style fried rice variants.

Unlike onions where each plant normally forms a single bulb, shallots form clusters of offsets just like garlic. Shallots have a mild taste that combines the flavor of a sweet onion with a hint of garlic.

The result? A subtle sweet, tender slightly crunchy green vegetable with edible flowering buds and slim stems.

No fancy culinary footwork. Broccolini with Streaky Oyster Sauce and Golden Shallots is THE chinese gourmet style vegetables that you will love. :D

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Seafood cabbage rolls

Seafood Cabbage Rolls
Ingredient: Seafood paste, nori, cabbage-blanched then dip in cold icy water to retain "crisp" and color

: Follow the pictorial instructions above. Basically, lay the whole napa cabbage leaves on flat surface, add nori layer on top, fill in with seafood paste and roll up. Steam for 8-12mins.

Moist, juicy fillings that does not burden your palates

As good as it gets!

This cabbage (in rolls) are definitely worthwhile as roll-wrapper for steaming. if you find beancurd (tofu) skin-like sheets hardly accessible for you.

Other rolls to try:
Tofu Roll
Shrimp Roll

""Roll, roll, roll your boat, gently down the sea. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, food is in my dream..." :D

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Spicy crispy roasted chicken wings

This should go well with Nasi Lemak or Sambal Seafood Fried Rice

Baked/Roasted Spicy Chicken Wings
Ingredients: galangal powder, crushed garlic, turmeric powder, crushed ginger, coriander powder, curry powder, sambal belacan, some lime juice, salt

WOOPS! I did not measure the quantities as I just added dashes of them into the mixing bag with the chicken wings. As a gauge, the proportion ratio should be about 1: 1.5 : 2

The quantity and proportion equation...for 1: 1.5 : 2 ratio
galangal powder = crushed garlic = turmeric powder < crushed ginger = coriander powder < curry powder = sambal belacan

Hope I have not confused you with the Math :P

Directions: Marinate for at least 2 hrs or more. When ready to bake, preheat the oven. Place chicken on a foil pan and drizzle some olive oil on it. Roast/bake at 325F for 25-35mins, then last 5mins, increase temperature to 350-360F for added crispiness. (Note: the oven temp may depend on the parts of chicken you have used. Some chicken parts have thicker portions of meat and may take longer to cook).

Outcome: Oh...so delicious. Spicy to perfection - not too overpowering. Combination of spices...miraculous! Moist in the inside, crispy on the outside

Guilt: None (IMO only)

Justification: Deep pool of frying oil not required. Deep-frying pan not required. No splatter of oil on the kitchen stove and floor. Just need a temperature-controlled oven.

Hmmm...when there is no guilt, where comes the justification? No need! DUH! :O

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Spicy Seafood Marinara

Coming after the sambal chili in my spicy fried rice is the whole dried red chili.

Do you like spicy food? Which is the spiciest you have ventured into ?

If you can't take the spice, I have some pasta variations for you to think about trying.

Other pasta variations
Soba in almond butter and scallions dressing
Linguine in minced pork and black vinegar
Fusili with steamed shrimps and celery

For myself, it's to elevate the spice and heat in classic seafood marinara. Look what I added to make it Fiery Seafood Marinara Penne.

Penne in Fiery Seafood Marinara
-Mixed seafood - prawns, bay scallops, calamari
-1 can whole tomatoes
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 shallots, sliced
-2-3 tsps dried basil
-8 dried red chili
-1/2 lb penne, boiled for ~9 mins or according to pack instructions. Set aside.
-cherry tomatoes and broccoli (garnish)

Can you see it ? The whole dried red chili...

1. Heat some olive oil in saute pan, add in garlic and shallots and fry till fragrant
2. Add in seafood and stir fry till cooked
3. Add in can of tomatoes, mashing them while mixing in pan. Then add in whole red chilis
4. When almost cooked, add the dried basil and mix well
5. When ready to serve, add in penne, mix well, then dish out

Yes, it's the whole dried red chili kicking up that notch!


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Monday, October 01, 2007

Seafood fried rice - spicy sambal style

Sambal Seafood Fried Rice
-1 pack frozen seafood (prawns, bay scallops, calamari)
-1 cup frozen vegetables, blanched and set aside
-1 clove garlic minced
-1 clove shallot sliced thinly
-1tbsp or more (if you can take the heat!) of sambal belacan (Sambal Belacan is a Malay style sambal. Chili pounded with toasted shrimp paste - belacan). A Malaysian-Chinese version is to fry belacan with chili.

1. Heat 1tbsp oil in frying pan, fry the garlic and shallots till fragrant
2. Add in seafood and fry till seafood is cooked (turn "opaque")
2. Add in sambal belacan, and mix well. Continue fry for 1 min
3. Add in vegetables and continue fry for 1 min
4. If too dry, add some water
5. Add in cooked rice and mix well (Or dish out the spicy seafood and cook the fried rice via the rice-cooker method)

Doing without a fried egg this time

Very easy...but first, you have to get your sambal belacan! NOW!

Other rice dishes -
Yam rice
Nasi Lemak
Curry tonkatsu don

What ingredients do you like in your fried rice?

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